From Hansadutta das
20 February 1995
Dear Nalini-Kanta Prabhu:
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada!
Thank you for your speedy response to my publications. Last time I saw you, I think we were attending a dinner with Hridayananda, Brahmananda, Gargamuni and myself. At that time, I tried to make the point to Hridayananda that meetings, papers or any other official forms for resolving problems amongst devotees, especially those of the inner circle and especially those who were hand-made by Srila Prabhupada, would never be successful. We are in the family of Srila Prabhupada, so family members must have familiar dealings. Formal dealings are for foreigners, for outsiders. The very root of the problem lies in this assumption by some of the godbrothers that they have inherited an office or title which gives them the right to impose or dictate to their godbrothers as noblemen or princes in political power. Any arrangement which honors this attitude of superiority can never yield the desired result. We want love. Dadati pratigrihnati, guhyam akhyati pricchati. I want to love and be loved without fear. We want loving relationships with one another, despite our differences or our defects. A legal relationship will not satisfy the heart. Srila Prabhupada brought us all together, into one family on the basis of love of Krishna. Artificially imposing formalities, like debates or meetings or publishing papers won’t solve the problem.
Even if we accept the democratic process of majority rule, we can see that the majority of the devotees have abandoned the mission and those few obstinate leaders refuse to concede. So where is their integrity? They will never concede. Six out of eleven gurus have fallen, and still they go on manufacturing gurus by the dozen, as if a hundred imperfect men could replace the perfect leader, Srila Prabhupada. ISKCON’s propaganda for re-uniting Srila Prabhupada’s family is bogus, because Srila Prabhupada’s family is already united. Ask any devotee how they feel about Prabhupada, and they will all say, “We love Prabhupada, Prabhupada is the greatest.” So if we take majority rule, we already have the conclusion that Prabhupada should be the leader and all others should be his servants. But a handful of godbrothers will simply not concede, so what is the use of having a debate or meeting or writing a paper? Anyway, I’m sure you understand all these things as well as I understand them, and I don’t want to belabor the point.
I hope this letter meets you well.
Your humble servant,
From Hansadutta das
20 February 1995
Dear Arya devi dasi and Vijeta dasa:
Please accept my most humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada! I received your letter dated August 25, 1994, and I also received your article in which you compare the role of the father with that of the guru.
Please forgive me for not replying sooner. I really don’t have an adequate excuse, except to say that I am very disorganized and rather lazy when it comes to correspondence, mainly because it has taken me quite some time to determine exactly in which directly my preaching activities are going to go. Of late we have concluded that preaching on the Internet, world-wide, is really the place to be. I was planning to publish your article in the Nama Hatta newsletter, but then we got caught up in the craze of the Gopimania, and the whole magazine took on a different color. I communicate with Yashodanandan Maharaja regularly, and he always speaks very highly of you and your wife.
Regarding your proposal to establish a Prabhupada Jagannatha Puri project in co-operation with other devotees, I would be very cautious about entering into anything of that nature. It is one thing to associate with devotees intimately and intensely when they are strictly submissive to the authority and lotus feet of the spiritual master, but under the circumstances, all the devotees—almost without exception—are quite slack and casual, and therefore they want to associate with one another on a friendly, equal level. It is not possible to accomplish anything of significance in a casual, friendly environment. Every undertaking requires an executive head. Even in a family of husband and wife, there must be a head. The man must lead, and the woman must follow. If the man and woman attempt to associate on a friendly, equal, casual level, it always ends in grief and misunderstanding. My experience is that the devotional relationship and business relationship cannot co-exist amongst devotees, although many have tried, including myself. The devotional relationship is “what’s mine is yours, what’s yours is mine.” But business relationship necessitates calculation of profit and loss, so immediately I must consider my godbrother in terms of pounds, shillings and pence. So the two relationships—one, the devotional sentiment of love and trust and the other, business, calculation, profit and loss—they cannot mix. So please don’t take offense at my opinion, but this is my practical experience over many years. If there is some necessity for earning money, then better to deal with karmis, with whom one can have a strict business, profit and loss relationship. And with the devotees, we should maintain the open, heart-felt relationship of love and trust.
Yes, I understand your point about Nama Hatta declaring multi-level marketing of the Holy Name. I am out of touch with the mainstream of social change. Well, now that we are going to preach on the Internet, perhaps we will call it Nama Net News. Anyways, thank you for your suggestion. I hope this letter finds you both well.
Your humble servant,
From Bhakta das, Bangkok, Thailand
3 March 1995
Dear Hansadutta Prabhu:
Please accept my most humble obeisances at your feet. All glories to His Divine Grace Srila Prabhupada!
This morning I spoke briefly with Adri Dharan. I have been calling him repeatedly the last 10 days, but he only came back from Mayapur last night. His first words were: “It is very bad.”
The TKG/Gopi issue is more or less the only issue discussed for two weeks, and still no resolution! TKG has dominated the proceedings completely, and the only person who is speaking up against him is Hari Vilas. Adri said he sees only disaster for the next year.
The GBC has banned a new book by Kundali and Satya Narayana which supports the conclusions of the previous acharyas that we conditioned souls are eternally conditioned and have never been nitya-lila in Goloka. The GBC has another conclusion. Of course, Srila Prabhupada always told us to just get healthy, but when I study shastra, I cannot find anywhere to support that I was with Krishna in a “rasa” and left.
Adri also mentioned that TKG is now turning against his mentor Narayana Maharaja and blaming all the problems on Narayana Maharaja instead of accepting the responsibility himself! Hari Vilas pointed out this defect in him, and he got rather hot under the collar. The GBC did a private, “no-names” written opinion of TKG, and the negativity astounded him (TKG), but still, because he holds cards against everyone, no one is standing up to face him down.
Anyway, more than ever we see that Srila Prabhupada’s institution is a ship without a rudder right now. Of course, we know already, but still somehow I always hope against hope that someone will put the rudder back in place and grab the wheel.
I am in wonderful spirits, absorbed in bhajan and sankirtan as normal. Sankirtan through the streets is particularly blissful the last few weeks. There is more mercy out there in the crowded Kali-yuga streets than there is in dandavats of Govardhan on Govardhan Puja. Lord Nityananda and Lord Chaitanya seem to like it when we give up the false ego and just chant from the core of our hearts in public!
If you get a chance to get Kundali’s book, Not Even the Leaves Fall (from Vaikuntha), I am sure you will appreciate it. It is thoroughly researched, written in a readable and interesting style, and quite timely. There are several arguments presented which I believe apply equally to the issue of rittvik initiations.
We remember you daily and always pray for your continued advancement in devotional life.
Your humble servant,